Future of higher education, how telecom can help the student

SURF is the cooperative for the Dutch universities (WO), Universities of Applied Science (HBO), Medical Universities (UMCs), Institutions for secondary vocational education (MBO) and Dutch research organisations. We will look at SURF, the education sector’s challenges as well as the future of (higher) education and the role technologies can play now and in ten year’s time.

A presentation by Ron Augustus, Chief Innovation Officer / Member of the Board, SURF.

Question 1: What drives you?
A passion for science, history, education, technology and people.

Question 2: Why should the delegate attend your presentation?
To get a high-energy overview of trends and the impact technology may have on the future of education.

Question 3: What emerging technologies/trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?
Long term: Artificial Intelligence based on public values; 6G creating digital twins and augmented intelligence enhancing human learning
Short term: cooperative digital platforms / ecosystems, digital learning methods, gaming, proctoring and curriculum flexibility across institutions internationally

Question 4: What kind of impact do you expect them to have?
AI based on public values will support students with individual data to help learning results and teacher interactions and help teachers to create better courses. 6G enables digital classroom and (almost) real-life twins for training purposes, augmented intelligence to interact with human memory can provide new ways to learn. Also, working together across institutions on digital transitions based on public values like privacy, independency and inclusiveness will align technology possibilities with sector characteristics.

Question 5: What are the barriers that might stand in the way?
The ability to create consensus to work on common solutions across institutions, maintaining a balance between public cloud possibilities and the institution’s independence from large tech players, and fear of security threats or privacy-related incidents.

About Ron Augustus
I try to make a difference for people by being a guide on their technological journey. Being honest and transparent on what technology can bring, but also what pitfalls to avoid. The pace of change is so fast that no one understands it all. We are all learners. Helping organisations to see and apply the right technology at the right time is my learning journey.

But it never is technology alone. People come first. Truly caring for others, showing vulnerability in leadership and having a strong dedication to public values fuels success. I have had the opportunity to be part of the Dutch board of two leading technology companies for more than twenty years. As the CINO (Chief Innovation Officer) in the board of SURF I can use that background and my personal values to help shape some key areas of our future society: #education, #research, #innovation and #technology.

In my private time I teach #arthistory and #sciencehistory to a local community. Combining love for both technology and arts helps me to find balance and keep an open mind.
Experience: Market-driven strategic business development and turnarounds. Executive experience in instrumentation, motion control, software, photonics/SiP (silicon photonics), process-automation and nanotechnology. Track record of profitable growth, turnaround, market leadership and partnership negotiation and development. A technical contributor as well, with multiple patents issued and pending, including key enabling photonics manufacturing, metrology and micro-robotic intelligence technologies.

About SURF Cooperation
SURF is a cooperative association of Dutch educational and research institutions in which the members combine their strengths. Within SURF, we work together to acquire or develop the best possible digital services, and to encourage knowledge sharing through continuous innovation. The members are the owners of SURF.

Ron Augustus is speaker at the 2021 edition of the Future of Communication Conference.

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